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Crazy Things My Mom Did... I'm Jealous.

It had to be the Golden Age of Parenting when I grew up.  I swear.  My mom did so many things that are absolutely normal when I was a kid... but they're "crazy" today.

1.  Be home by dinner.  I'm thinking I was six or seven when I was turned loose on the world at large.  Bye.  Get out of the house.  It's a nice day.  Be home by dinner.  See ya.

Nope.  There were no cell phones.  I could have wandered off ANYWHERE.  She trusted me to have some sense, go play with the neighbours (maybe save her some money and eat their food) and find something to do on my own.  Most of the time this worked out fine. 

2.  Lick the batter when I make cake.  Did I mention this was the Golden Age of Parenting?  So jealous that I can't do this with my kids.  I have to be all pickety about cleanliness and stuff.  Oh yeah!  I think the dog licked my face more than a few times when I was growing up.  I lived just fine.  If I ever had salmonella, it was just one of those things I was expected to "get over."  Like chicken pox and the flu.

3.  Go to School.  Yep.  I was expected to go every. time. school was open.  I loved and hated it all at the same time.  It was especially nice to go to school in the winter as my parents listened to Jimmy Carter and saved energy at home.  It was like 50 degrees at home!  When I think back to "Things that Made me a Republican," I think that was one of those beginning moments.  School was a place that was warm. 

You can disagree with me if you like, but school is NOT the same as it was when I was a kid.  Sure, they're working a bit to make kids not bully one another, but that doesn't mean it's a more friendly place.

When I was a kid?  We had art.  We had music.  We had lots of recess.  We had field trips.  We put on plays.  We had assemblies that were not "sell this crap door-to-door" or "do well on your MAP test" related.  We memorized poems that mentioned God and even Scriptures in public school.  I never felt preached at.  These were simply great pieces of literature.  (We sang Chanukkah songs, too.)

4.  No Helmets.  Metal Roller Skates.  Cage Fighting.  Ok, no cage fighting.  But we had baby aspirin, which I hear now is just as dangerous for little kids.  My mom would break the asprin up into bitty powdery pieces and mix it up into ice cream.  I had to eat the whole bowl.  :)


  1. So true!!! I was gone all day every day in summer - usually outside, never to return unless I got too hungry or heard my dad bellowing from the front porch (which meant it was time for dinner). Those were the days! I have to say that my kids have grown up more like I did here in Japan than they would have if we live in the US. Oh, and we always lick batter. Japanese eat raw eggs all the time, so I go with assumption that they are safer (definitely more fresh)!

  2. I remember that "go out and play" too, when we were little we had to stay in the yard, the gate was always open but we never wandered. Once we knew our way around the block at about age 5, we could play anywhere that didn't involve crossing a main road until we'd learned how to cross safely. We learned very quickly and soon were wandering the town, getting ourselves to the park or beach. I was on my own from age 7 to 11, siblings were living with mum, and for those four years I think I was only home to eat and sleep. I still lick cake batter even now.

  3. We still lick the beaters. We also eat yogurt (more bacteria). When we have a fever, we bundle up, get plenty of liquids, take antioxidants and garlic to boost the immune system, and let the white blood cells do their job, unless it is a really bad fever.

    No bike helmets. No car seats. No booster seats. Kids piled up in the back of a pick up. It is a miracle we survived childhood.

  4. I wish... we were mostly sequestered! Maybe it's because we grew up in NY, but we had a pretty short leash...even during our high school years... or should I say especially during our high school years. But we did get ice cream made of snow, ran errands for our parents, and still managed to navigate the entire town by foot.

  5. Somehow the world wasn't such a scary place back then. I'm sure there were just as many weirdos, but I cannot imagine letting a 6-7 year old go off on their own for the afternoon.

  6. I remember these times too but we were told not to talk to strangers or get in to cars but that was about it, we walked everywhere ate home made food, cake every week no one was fat we had lots to do we had to help with the house work and garden as jobs and were paid pocket money and to spend it we had to walk to the shops.

  7. It sounds like something straight out of Huck Finn....but my best memories were when mom gave us a lunch, wrapped it up in a bandana, we tied it to a stick, and headed off across pastures (with bulls and barbed-wire included) and wheat fields complete with huge stacks of hay to jump off. We were headed for the Mighty Platte River (a mile wide and an inch deep) to swim (or float, as it was too shallow to swim), run away from real or imagined deadly water moccasins, and catch frogs and assorted "pets". We would be gone from morning until night. I never saw an adult anywhere on the trail. I AM surprised there wasn't a farmer or two with a shotgun along the way, but in the old days it seems like they let kids be kids, as long as they weren't hurting anything.

    I think dodging bulls was the best about adrenaline rush!


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